2016 - the year death came to stay.
This year has not been the best if your a celebrity. With the sheer amount of deaths it must have set a new unprecedented record.
There have been some I've lamented and others I never even knew, but most have touched at least a few people in their own ways, and all shall be missed.
There are far too many to note down here but a few I shall mention are Angus scrimm, David bowie, carrie Fisher and herschell Gordon Lewis. Rest in peace to all.
Now onto the rest of the year.
Personally for me 2016 hasn't been too bad. It started as just another year, nowt extraordinary.
Work sucked as usual and life just plodded along.
Then February hit and my 5th wedding anniversary rolled around, spent a weekend in London with the wife. Just time alone without the kids or work and it was peaceful.
After that it was another work slog until June when download rolled around. None of my regular friends were going this year so I went camp loner.....and had one of the best downloads ever. Surrounded by drunk strangers who quickly became close friends in less than 24hours and not a week goes by that I don't think of or talk to at least one if them. Best decision ever.
Download came and went quite quickly and it was a brilliant weekend with much alcohol and metal consumed by all.
Once June skipped over to August it was time for the annual family camping trip....which lasted a grand total of 1 day. We set up the tent and got ready for a week of family frivolity and frantic fun.....aaaaand Harrison came down with chickenpox overnight. He was covered from head to toe. So we packed up the tent the following morning and headed home.
But not to be deterred we borrowed nannas caravan up Ingoldmells and spent the rest of the week there, where we could limit Harrisons exposure to other kids and still have a fun time at the beach and arcades. All in all it wasn't a total bust and fun was had, even if it was a bit itchy for one family member.
Returning from the holiday Facebook greeted me with an odd gift.
In one of the horror groups I'm associated with, there was an open submission call for short horror stories for a book series called rejected for content. The theme was sanatariums.
I had been toying with the idea of starting to write again all year, I had already Started several short stories about the zombie apocalypse but not finished them due to having no confidence at all in my work.
So I decided to have a crack at it, I figured the standard to be included must be high and if I didn't get chosen then I would have known for sure I was shit and to give it up.
So I wrote a short called 'mother is god' and with the grateful help of Adam Ward, who acted as my mentor and editor, I submitted it. Adam took a look at my work for me and said I could write tension but I was rough around the edges. And with his assistance I ironed out my kinks and bad habits before submitting.
And it is with great pride and humble honour that I can say my story was accepted and has now been printed in RFC5: sanatarium.
Since then things have snowballed at a steady pace. With encouragement from writers such as Jim goforth, toneye eyenot and kitty Kane I have now got the confidence to finish what I tried to start 12 months ago.
Jim, toneye, kitty and Adam have all been detrimental to me picking up the keyboard again and reignited a passion I thought had been extinguished 17 years ago.
And for that I say thank you for everything :)
November then rolled around and I had 2 concerts for my birthday :)
Gary numan playing classics from his first 3 albums and the anathema playing new an old songs. Both gigs rocked hard!! With anathema taking the edge as... Well...they haven't released a bad album for me :)
With that in mind I have a few projects lined up for 2017 that I would like to share with you.
I have a werewolf piece I am working on for vampz vs Wolvz 2, which is turning out to be sicker than I originally intended.
I have a couple of other shorts I'm working on for a few other anthologies due our next year. But titles have not been confirmed yet, apart from kitty kanes ABCs of murder, where I have the letter V.
Along with all the anthos I've got lined up I also intend to self publish a collection of my own short stories, once they've been polished and edited, and towards November I plan on releasing my own horror anthology with some close friends of mine as a thank you (they don't know about it yet haha).
So 2017 is shaping up to be a busy year writing wise.
Apart from writing, me and the wife will finally have a kind of honeymoon in August (6years after tieing the knot), I imagine there will be several trips to nannas caravan (excellent writing time) and who knows what else the year shall entail.
Just quickly I'm gunna do my favourite books and movies of the year...
I've read loads this year, not all of then were released this year but I read them this year so I'm counting them ;)
Undead fleshcrave: the zombie trigger by Jim goforth.
5 friends go to a death metal concert where everyone turns into the raving undead....don't wanna say too much as I'd ruin the myriad of gorey surprises in store but this is definitely one of my books of the year!
Blood moon big top by toneye eyenot
Marbles the Clown gets bit by a feral child and undergoes a horrific transformation over 2 weeks.
BMBT is a novella of sorts that's filled with the icky disturbing transformation of a man from Clown to Wolf.
I finished it in a couple of hours and enjoyed every second, I could not put it down.
Wood to burn by Cameron Grace
A collection of sometimes funny but often. Moving poetry by Cameron Grace.
I usually hate poetry of any kind but this one really hit me in the feels every now and again.
Vs: US VS UK and Seasons Bleeding.
I didn't want to put the antho I was in down for my ego is non existent (haha), but I was torn between these two.
Vs is a collection of American horror authors vs authors from the UK and Australia. The tales in here verge from the creepy to the sick to the downright insane, and I loved every goddamn second of it.
Seasons bleedings is a horror authors version of secret santa. Each author was given a random author and told to kill them in the most disturbing or festive way possible. And Oh boy do they hit the nail on the head. From a drug and revenge fuelled santa through to a staff Xmas party that verges on the deranged...every story is a killer.
2016 has been a bit shit for horror films. To many regurgitations of the same theme, do me a favour and get fucked Hollywood. I want to see original or at least fucked up.
My movie of the year has to be...
To describe it as jurassic Park with zombies just doesn't do it justice enough. This film is hands down my favourite film of the year.
Featuring a wicked turn from dougray Scott as an ex army hunter, it's worth checking out.
A close second is The Shallows.
A woman goes surfing and getc attacked by a great white and ends up stranded on a rock whilst the tide inexorably draws up on her.
This is one hell of a tension fest. I genuinely felt myself tensing up at parts, plus I have a massive soft spot for shark movies ;)
But this is another awesome horror movie!
My let downs of the year were 31 and The Boy....both massively overhyped and both sucked major testicle!!!!
As always I would like to thank everyone who helped me throughout the year, there have been too many too mention so I'm sure I missed some :)
I'd also like to thank my wife, diane, for sticking up with me and putting up with my dumbass questions throughout the weeks and months.
Well that's about it for 2016
See you in 2017.